Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former Auburn head football coach Pat Dye are in the news this week. One was named to the newly formed College Football Playoff committee, and the other seems intent on chairing the old-as-time We Often Mistake Gender Organs for Proof of Common Sense committee.
Rice is the former, Dye the latter.
Those already named to the 12-to-20ish-members committee include familiar football names like Barry Alvarez, Pat Haden and Archie Manning. Dye came out of the1980s long enough Monday to tell a Birmingham radio station that Rice was a poor choice to be included because “to understand football,” he said, “you’ve got to play with your hand in the dirt” and that “all she knows about football is what somebody told her. Or what she read in a book, or what she saw on television.”
Then he spat, hit a woman over the head with a first-down marker, grabbed her by the ponytail and dragged her backward 15 yards.
(Rice would have learned little, by the way, watching Dye’s 5-6 and 5-5-1 teams in ’91 and ’92.)
Rice’s committee will be responsible for selection of the four-team playoff to determine college football’s “true champion.” This begins next year. Of course, this won’t stop the argument of Who’s No. 1. I find this a joy; listening to the arguing and complaining over the old polls I grew up with spoiled me. Now, the argument is that the committee is tainted by a female woman who cannot understand football, which at its best can get fairly complicated but even then is not splitting the atom, much less trying to negotiate and reason with, oh, let’s say, for starters, Russia or Afghanistan.
Some information, then a quick observation:
Since retiring from being four heartbeats away from the United States Presidency, Rice is now a professor in the Graduate School of Business at Stanford, where she was once provost.
Since retiring from coaching football and athletics directering yet remaining one heartbeat away from that Great Athletic Dormitory For Whistle-Wearin’ Guys in the Sky, Dye has been a regular guest on various radio programs like the nationally syndicated “Rick and Bubba Show,” during which he would guesstimate the outcome of that week’s Southeastern Conference games.
“I like Vandy and the points this week, Coach!” Bubba would say.
“Aw, shoot, boy, Vandy couldn’t pull a sick kid off a bicycle,” Dye would retort. “A boy who would pick Vandy to cover would pick Germany in a World War.”
I paraphrase, but you get the picture.
That said, I would be much more comfortable with Dye’s present gig than with Rice’s. I am in no way enamored with the world of big business, politics or administration. And I love me some Pat Dye. I just think that, at present, the old College Football Hall of Famer can’t see the Rice for the long-cultivated chauvinistic weeds. We’re talking reason and brain here, not body type.
Some others on the committee haven’t played either, but they are male, and that seems to carry a lot of weight with Dye, who I once ate ice cream and talked country music with. He loves him some ice cream and some old country. We traded great song titles and hummed bars of this or that. He knows ice cream. And he knows country music.
True, Rice ain’t Bo Jackson. But the ice-cream eatin’, country-music lovin’ Dye’s not Elsie the Cow, either. (A FEMALE, by the way!) Nor is he Hank Sr.
And, thank goodness, he’s not a U.S. diplomat.